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Anything is Possible if you Dare to Dream

November 16, 2014

Nianya's Law & The Holidays . . .

I have blogged about this in the past My own version of Murphy's Law.

Nianya's Law: If anything can go wrong, it will, at the worst possible moment!

My solution?

1. Always be flexible and have a back up plan.

This often means upsetting the plans of relatives or friends. If your special needs kids have sensory issues or food allergies, holidays can be trying at best. Make it clear that any plans are subject to change. Maybe that just means arriving late and leaving early and bringing your own food.

2. Know when to hold them and when to fold them.

Don't over book and be prepared to cancel or change plans at the last minute. Sometimes you or your special needs child simple are not up to going out. Holiday plans are not school. They aren't mandatory not matter what anyone else says.

3. Ask your special needs child to help you when you need it.

Never underestimate your child's ability to help you at least when they reach an age at which they can do so. If you prepare them in advance and ask for their help, you may just find that they can help you solve any contingencies.

You can always negotiate with them. Keep a list of items, food or outings they want and offer a trade. Help me now and you can have x later.

4. Stock up on fun surprises for those unexpected times when you are homebound.

There are always times during the year when you will be stuck at home, whether it's due to illness, snow or other bad weather. Break out the old videos, a new or old game, or simple crafts. If they miss their friends, there is always Skype.

This year, facing several weeks of recovery from my upcoming surgery, I'm having to constantly rethink our holiday plans. We had them all set way in advance, but luckily nothing was set in stone. Now I'm busy brainstorming new ideas for things we can do here with just the four of us.

After more than 18 years as a special needs mom, I have learned to ride out the waves when life throws them at us, and I know that doing so only makes our family stronger.